RE: virus: Meme, the Underlying Cause

Tadeusz Niwinski (
Tue, 30 Sep 1997 14:10:34 -0700

Robin wrote:
>I'm just guessing that the "intention/purpose" thing lies behind
>your claim that genetic information is "more important than
>life itself". I may be wrong. Why don't you explain what you
>mean by it. More important to/for whom or what?

I mean "more important" the same way as in "underlying cause", the term you
used. That's why I asked you to define what you mean by it. It will be much
easier to explain "more important" if I know what you mean by "underlying
cause", I can then speak your language.

>Dawkins himself says that to view genes as literally selfish
>is very silly (or words to that effect). As someone once
>said of him, a good part of his writing is devoted to
>countering the effects of his headlines. Do you think
>either memes or genes have intentions?

No, I don't think memes or genes have intentions.

>If not, what does
>it mean to say that "Memes had to use genes and us to
> build Internet first"?

That they were the underlying cause :-).

>Genes are the underlying cause of the phenotype, in the sense
>that they embody its design, and it develops due to the interaction
>between them and their cellular (and extra-cellular) environment.
>Memes are not, in the same sense or anything like it, the
>underlying cause of behaviours. They *are* behaviours.

OK, I think I understand out differences now. Genes do not interact
directly with the physical environment. It is the DNA which does. Your
thoughts are using words and chatracters as well as telephone lines in order
to get to me, but those characters are not your thoughts. Your *thoughts*
are the underlaing cause of my action right now, when I am touching certain
keys on my keyboard, although I never saw your thoughts. Genes control life
using DNA as their means. The same with memes: somehow they control our
behaviour, they are not our behaviour.

Why am I typing this now? My behaviour now is controlled by your thoughts.
Your thoughts are "more important" than my lunch!

Second thought... talk to you later (to be continued).

Regards, Tadeusz (Tad) Niwinski from planet TeTa (604) 985-4159